Portsmouth Cathedral Choir performing at Holy Trinity Church, Ventnor. Picture by Helen Slade.
MUSIC HOLY Trinity Church in Ventnor, celebrating its 150th anniversary, was full last Friday for a concert by the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.
The programme ranged from plainsong to a modern worship song and encompassed several British composers, in addition to a short setting of the mass by Mozart. The Missa Brevis et Solemnis in C is often referred to as the Sparrow Mass because of the generation of a sparrow-like chirp in the organ accompaniment.
The gentlemen of the choir began the concert singing a Gregorian chant from the chancel and then joined the boys in the nave for a beautiful, delicate piece by Palestrina — Sicut Cervus.
The Festival Te Deum by Benjamin Britten, a spectacular piece, demanding close attention to rhythm and pitch, was followed by an exquisite rendering of Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs, accompanied on the piano by the acting sub organist Will Drakett, who also played two contrasting organ solos, which demonstrated the capabilities of the organ and organist superbly.
Appropriately for an Island concert, the choir performed a modern interpretation of Eternal Father Strong to Save by Malcolm Archer, which the choir has recently recorded.
The concert ended with a performance of a specially written arrangement of a worship song called In Your Image. It is unpublished but the choir performed it on BBC Songs of Praise in 2004. Its moving and powerful text has made it a popular choice at ordination ceremonies and it provided an uplifting and thought-provoking finale.
Under Dr David Price, the organist and master of the choristers, the choir gave the audience a memorable eve-ning. Just before they hurried off to catch the ferry home, they sang a delightful arrangement of Sailing, accompanied on the piano by Dr Price.
The concert was followed by refreshments and the money raised will go towards the organ repair fund and other church funds.